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Finding aid for the Banyan Press archive, 1946-1986
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Banyan Press archive
    Date (inclusive): 1946-1986
    Number: 900230A
    Creator/Collector: Fredericks, Claude
    Physical Description: 6.0 linear feet (13 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: Small press founded in 1946 by Claude Fredericks. Archive comprises a complete set of the publications, primarily poetry, and other printed matter from The Banyan Press and Claude Fredericks (1946-1986). Also includes related correspondence, manuscripts, account books, and reviews.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English

    Biographical/Historical Note

    The Banyan Press was a small press founded in 1946 by Claude Fredericks and Milton Saul. In 1948 they moved their operation, a single 10 inch by 14 inch Golding press, to Pawlet, Vermont. Most of the book design and press work was done by Fredericks. Three or four items were designed by Saul, and one by Harry Prickett. Saul did most of the typesetting. All type was set by hand except for one item, the introduction to The Poetry Center Presents (1947), which was printed from Linotype. After 1950 Fredericks ran the press alone under his own name, except for the period 1975-1978, when he was assisted by David Beeken.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Banyan Press archive, 1946-1986, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 900230A.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1990.

    Processing History

    Neil Hathaway processed the collection in 1994. It was further processed by Emmabeth Nanol in 2010.

    Related Material

    Claude Fredericks papers, circa 1850-1988, bulk 1961-1988. Accession no. 900230B. Claude Fredericks journal and letters, circa 1916-1988. Accession no. 900230C.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The archive holds the complete set of 151 imprints from The Banyan Press and Claude Fredericks. Sixty-three imprints were produced under Fredericks's name. Publications are primarily poetry and other items include broadsides, Christmas cards, stationery, press announcements, and pamphlets.
    Among the poets and other authors printed by the Press are John Berryman, Robert Duncan, Richard Eberhart, William Everson, André Gide, Barbara Howes, Bernard Malamud, James Merrill, Thomas Merton, Charles Simic, Stephen Spender, and Gertrude Stein. Reprints and translations include works by William Blake, Tristan Corbière, John Donne, Meister Eckhart, Francis of Assisi, and Thomas Traherne. The Press occasionally printed books on commission from others, including from The Gotham Book Mart and Jargon Books.
    Private printing, especially for Christmas, stationery, announcements, invitations, and programs (for example for The Betty Parsons Gallery and The Living Theatre) were common jobs under both imprints.
    Included is related correspondence between Fredericks and writers (Eberhart, Howes, Marianne Moore, Edith and Osbert Sitwell, Spender, Alice B. Toklas, Carl Van Vechten, among others), booksellers (Frances Steloff), librarians, bookbinders (Arno Werner), stationers, and book reviewers. Overall, the correspondence offers a picture of the New York literary scene in the late 1940s.
    The life of the Press is documented in limited business records (an account book, contracts, cancelled checks) as well as reviews and articles about the Press, a long history of the Press by William Coakley and one by Barbara Cash as well as bibliographies by J. D. Edelstein and others. Copies of other items designed but not printed by Fredericks are also present as well as 27 printer's typescripts and a limited number of galley proofs.


    Arranged in six series: Series I. Complete run of the press, 1946-1986; Series II. Samples of publications designed by Fredericks, ca. 1962-1965; Series III. Business records, 1946-1978; Series IV. Material about the Press, ca. 1961-1985; Series V. Printer's manuscripts, 1947-1950; Series VI. Banyan Press correspondence, 1947-1952.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Fredericks, Claude

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Banyan Press
    Bennington College
    Betty Parsons Gallery
    Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
    Gotham Book Mart
    Grolier Club
    Jargon Society
    New York Public Library

    Subjects - Topics

    American literature
    American poetry
    Book design--Vermont
    Book industries and trade--United States
    Publishers and publishing--Vermont
    Small presses--Vermont

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints
    Photographs, Original


    Banyan Press
    Berryman, John, 1914-1972
    Cahoon, Herbert, 1918-2000
    Duncan, Harry
    Duncan, Robert, 1919-1988
    Eberhart, Richard, 1904-2005
    Everson, William, 1912-1994
    Fredericks, Claude
    Gallup, Donald Clifford, 1913-2000
    Graham, Ethel
    Howes, Barbara
    Malamud, Bernard
    Merrill, James, 1926-1995
    Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
    Saul, Milton
    Simic, Charles, 1938-
    Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964
    Sitwell, Osbert, 1892-1969
    Spender, Stephen, 1909-1995
    Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946
    Steloff, Frances, b. 1887
    Stevens, Wallace, 1879-1955
    Toklas, Alice B.
    Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964
    Werner, Arno, 1899-1995